Selling on a contract phone, is it an issue? Can it be blocked?

59
Posted 28th Jan 2013
I've searched and searched and searched and still not found the information as it relates to sim blocking.

Basically I bought a phone off Gumtree, I was specifically told it was sim free - to which I was like, ok then. I did of course check the IMEI with CheckMend though as I always do.

However, unknown to me, my partner took out a contract for the phone I wanted and after skinting us buying the one off Gumtree, I listed the one I'd bought back on Gumtree. I had numerous people ask if it was sim free/paygo or contract. Never had this before when buying/selling phones. Since then, I have managed to sell the phone and also got my partner a newer phone and the bloke we got it off was like, it's sim free, that's important, won't get blocked.

As far as I was aware, if someone didnt pay their bill, they cut the service off/the sim became blocked/inactive. Are networks now blocking the phone by IMEI if a bill isn't paid? If so, how long have they been doing this? Surely a lot of people sell their phone on before the contract's up? I know I still have 6 months left of an 18 month contract and I sold that phone 6-7 months ago. I know not everyone does this but, a lot of people do.

Or is it a case of, if say after 3-4 months the bill isn't paid for on a new 24 month contract, do they block the phone under those circumstances, rather than say a few months left of the contract? Or just a blanket block whether you've had the phone/contract a month or 23 months?

I sell and buy phones a lot off Gumtree as I like to change and like I say, never experienced this before until the last month or so. Where all I get constantly is "is it sim free/payg or contract?"
Community Updates
Selling a Contract Phone

It can be confusing if you’ve got a mobile phone and are not sure if you can legally sell it whilst it is still under contract to you in the UK. We’ll take a look at the most common questions surrounding this issue.


Can I sell my contract phone?
If you’re looking to sell your mobile phone before the contract ends or if you’re selling a new contract phone, you can be looking at a bit of a grey area. The first thing to do would be to contact your service provider who you have your contract with. Each company has different rules, for example of you’re selling an EE contract phone, they state that you are not able to do so until you’ve paid for cost of the handset in your contract, which they say is 6 months from the start. Whereas, if you’re selling an 02 contract phone, they state that the phone is your property from the start of the contract. HOWEVER, the important point to make here is that ALL phone companies insist that you carry on making the monthly payments until the end of your contract and if you do not then your sim will be blocked and you will be unable to use it unless you pay it off.

Can a contract phone be blocked if not paid?
The information above applies to your sim card account that you have under contract. The contract phone itself will only be blocked if it is reported lost or stolen by the owner. This could be a worry if you buy a mobile phone from a company such as CeX because you will never be sure if the original owner may block the phone at a later date. This could happen if the phone itself has been stolen and the seller isn’t the original owner of the contract. CeX state that they do have measures in place to stop this from happening but it is still a risk you’ll take if buying a second hand phone.



Is it illegal to sell a contract phone?
Again this has become a bit of a grey area, technically the phone you have a contract with is your property and you can’t be prosecuted if you decide to sell it. However, the advice is to check with your contract provider to see if they impose any time limit to when the phone does become your property and you can then sell it on.

Where can I sell my contract phone?
If you’re selling a pay monthly phone then two of the most popular places are CeX and eBay. CeX will grade your phone and offer you a price in store, check your local store here.Ebay operates as a selling platform and you will either ask for bids on your phone or set a fixed ‘buy it now’ price. You can charge the buyer for P&P too. Other options include local Facebook ‘buy and sell’ groups and their ‘marketplace’ feature.

Is there anyway to check if the phone I am buying is still under contract?
Yes, if you are buying a second hand phone on a website like eBay and you want to check if phone is still under contract, you can request the IMEI from the seller and then use a service like CheckMend to run an IMEI check, to find out it’s status before buying. This includes a check to see if the phone number is under contract in the UK and whether it has previously been reported as stolen. They charge £1.99 for this service but it will give you piece of mind if you do.


Check out some great deals on mobile phones!

The HotUKD sim only deals thread
59 Comments
What would happen if you took out a contract online, decided u didn't want the contract but want the phone? Vodafone think I'm sending it back but what will happen if I decide to keep it? Will I just get billed for the phone?
tyty333

What would happen if you took out a contract online, decided u didn't … What would happen if you took out a contract online, decided u didn't want the contract but want the phone? Vodafone think I'm sending it back but what will happen if I decide to keep it? Will I just get billed for the phone?


If you're within the cancellation period, if you decided to keep the phone then Vodafone wouldn't bill you for the "phone" they would keep the contract active.
If you wanted the phone but not the contract and within cancellation period, you're best bet would be to send the phone back and cancel the contract then buy the phone outright from either Vodafone themselves or elsewhere.
Spose there's a chance Vodafone may be able to bill you for the pay as you go price of the phone and cancel the contract but, more than likely if they were able to, they'd want payment for the phone there and then and it's highly unlikely they'd be able to do that.

Worth remembering that if you wanted to keep the phone, cancel the contract, Vodafone knock vat off the termination fee which may be cheaper than buying the phone outright on pay as you go but will depend on your tariff and the phone.

Basically, I just upgraded my contract with Orange to EE, and got a HTC One Mini for free.


Now, after playing with it, I actually prefer my current phone (Galaxy S3). I'm hoping to sell it.


But when I upgraded online, the sales rep threw this little thing into it;


To help reduce fraud, ** will legally own the phone/device until 6 months … To help reduce fraud, ** will legally own the phone/device until 6 months from your plan start date. You’re still responsible for any damage or loss, unless it’s insured, such as through ** Cl*ne Ph*ne. Your rights around faulty repair under warranty remain unchanged. This doesn’t change how you use your phone, it just means you can’t sell it until after the six month period.




What are the chances they'd come back for the phone?
abitfairytale

Basically, I just upgraded my contract with Orange to EE, and got a HTC … Basically, I just upgraded my contract with Orange to EE, and got a HTC One Mini for free. Now, after playing with it, I actually prefer my current phone (Galaxy S3). I'm hoping to sell it. But when I upgraded online, the sales rep threw this little thing into it;What are the chances they'd come back for the phone?


Interesting, someone else reported that an EE rep had said this to them and was basically filed under BS.
I don't see what they could do or how they'd find out if you sold it though :S.
hotukdeals.com/tag…775
Hi guys.. Right i bought an iphone 5s which is *contract and unpaid* and says no service.. Does that mean i cannot get it unblocked and use it again with another sim of my choice or what?
lewisw2

Hi guys.. Right i bought an iphone 5s which is *contract and unpaid* and … Hi guys.. Right i bought an iphone 5s which is *contract and unpaid* and says no service.. Does that mean i cannot get it unblocked and use it again with another sim of my choice or what?


Only if the original owner pays the bill or unreports it lost/stolen. Do you know for sure that it's blocked because of non payment? Or could it have been reported lost/stolen?
I have a Samsung s4 on contract but I haven't paid my bill will a shop still buy it off me or not ?
ceri1981

I have a Samsung s4 on contract but I haven't paid my bill will a shop … I have a Samsung s4 on contract but I haven't paid my bill will a shop still buy it off me or not ?



Why not ask the shop??
My iphone was purchased through my catalogue sim free so I used my vodafone sim in it but now I have financial problems and can't pay my vodafone bill can I use a pay monthly sim from a different provider in the handset or will vodafone block mw
Sandieelaine

My iphone was purchased through my catalogue sim free so I used my … My iphone was purchased through my catalogue sim free so I used my vodafone sim in it but now I have financial problems and can't pay my vodafone bill can I use a pay monthly sim from a different provider in the handset or will vodafone block mw


Are you still under contract with Vodafone or can you get them to put you on a decent one month rolling sim deal? As it was bought from a catalogue, Vodafone can't block the phone. I suppose theres a very slim chance the catalogue could block it if you haven't paid them but, never heard of that happening before and seems highly unlikely and if it is paid off no problem anyway. So I wouldn't worry about it becoming blocked. Just try and get something sorted out with Vodafone :).
Hi thank you for your reply yes it's being paid off with the catalogue company
I have iphone5 and I'm planning on just getting the phone and selling it for the money will it get blocked!!
rhianne223

I have iphone5 and I'm planning on just getting the phone and selling it … I have iphone5 and I'm planning on just getting the phone and selling it for the money will it get blocked!!


Only if you report it lost/stolen or don't pay the bill.
Hi I've bought a phone off gumtree and it's blocked is there anyway I can get it unblocked? And if so how please help? X
Need some advice, I recently took out a second mobile phone contract for my partner, we have now split up and he said he isn't going to pay the bill. Will they chase me to pay it or will it affect my own contract.
Kelbellz

Need some advice, I recently took out a second mobile phone contract for … Need some advice, I recently took out a second mobile phone contract for my partner, we have now split up and he said he isn't going to pay the bill. Will they chase me to pay it or will it affect my own contract.



you're probably best off starting a new thread asking this question.
you are liable for the costs if the contract is in your name
you can block the phone if you speak to the network. you can also request an alternative sim be sent out to you and the existing one cut off. that way they can't make or receive calls on 'their' number.
Bought Samsung S8 from CEX November 2017. August 2018 blacklisted for being stolen.
Cex would only talk to me in store where I was offered an exchange.
Going through section 75 with credit card company. Hopefully I will get a refund but I expect it to be a long wait. I will never ever buy a 2nd hand phone again.
The mobile network CAN block your phone so NO networks SIM card will work. I have an iphone se on three network and due to having issues paying the bill after losing my job the phone stopped working once I took the SIM card out (an active sim on are network that I used in the se while my own phone was being replaced). It worked fine in the s until I took it out then reinserted it and that’s when the se was blocked with no networks sim including three that will now work. I can only use home WiFi services etc, unable to use as a phone in a network grrrrrr
I recently bought a mobile and got caught out as I'd bought a contract phone. I was told it just needed a new EE sim and I could It payg. However, I bought a payg sim and found out that the phone has been blocked itself. Any ideas on how to activate the phone again?
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